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Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything Review by Stacy Rocha

By Laura Grace Weldon
Hohm Press
PO Box 2501
Prescott, Arizona 86302

Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything by Laura Grace Weldon is an amazing book for both veteran and new homeschoolers. It is more than just a how to book for homeschooling. It is book about how children learn naturally, how best to guide them, and how to live a life of learning.

There is so much information in this 300-page, 8x11-inch book. I was a little unsure when I was first asked to review this book. I thought it would be a book about unschooling--just let your children do whatever interests them and they will learn--which did not interest me at all. I soon found out that my first impression of the book was completely off. While it may have a little of an unschooling bent, there is so much more to this book than would ever fit under that label. You will discover how learning happens naturally, what kinds of emotions and environment need to be present in order for learning to take place, and how changing our ideals of education can change the future.

Free Range Learning is full of scientific evidence that supports Mrs. Weldon's claims of how children learn. Also included are stories from homeschooling families around the world. Each story has been matched to the section in the book that covers the topic the story is about. Chapter titles include "Natural Learning Happens Everywhere," "Nurturing the Learner," "Connecting with Others," "Adventure Homeschooling," "Volunteerism," "Ethics," and "Spirituality." Each chapter has many sub-topics making the book a quick and easy read. The second half of the book includes a chapter for each of the following subjects: Science & Nature, Math, Business & Critical Thinking, Physical Education & Health, The Arts, Language Arts & Foreign Language, History, and Current Events. Each of the latter chapters has ideas for activities and projects to do for that subject. There are also many resources and websites listed.

I've really enjoyed reading Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything. It has been an eye opener for me to learn how children, or even people in general, learn. I have gained a lot of knowledge that I now use to help my children not only learn but want to learn. I highly recommend this book to all parents who value the education of their children. It is well worth $24.95!

Product review by Stacy Rocha, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January 2011